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Casey is at the end of his final year in high school. He hasn’t applied to college, and, other than skateboarding, he doesn’t believe he’s good at much of anything. When a young movie star offers him a job as a stunt double in an upcoming skateboarding movie, Casey is stoked. It’s his dream job. But when word gets out about Casey’s new gig, a local skater has other ideas about who would make the best stunt double. What price will Casey pay to realize his dream?
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Jeff Ross
Copyright ©2011Jeff Ross
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system now known or to be invented, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication
Ross, Jeff, 1973 Powerslide [electronic resource] / Jeff Ross. (Orca sports)
Type of computer file: Electronic monograph in PDF format. Issued also in print format. isbn 9781554699155
I. Title. II. Series: Orca sports (Online) ps8635.o6928p69 2011a jc813’.6 c20119033445
First published in the United States,2011 Library of Congress Control Number:2011929397
Summary:Complications arise when Casey gets hired as a skateboarding double and a competitor challenges him to a series of dangerous tricks.
Orca Book Publishers is dedicated to preserving the environment and has ® printed this book on paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council .
Orca Book Publishers gratefully acknowledges the support for its publishing programs provided by the following agencies: the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund and the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Province of British Columbia through the BC Arts Council and the Book Publishing Tax Credit.
Cover photography by dreamstime.com Author photo by Simon Bell
orca book publishers orca book publishers poBox5626, Stn. BpoBox468 Victoria,bcCanada Custer,wa usav8r 6s4 982400468 www.orcabook.com Printed and bound in Canada.
For Megan and future skaters, Luca and Alex.
c h a pte r o n e
You need two things to be a good skate-boarder: amazing balance and a complete lack of fear. Which was why I was surprised when Goat landed a 360° heel flip during our game of S.K.A.T.E. Goat had a lack of fear. He had proven that many times, but his balance was always slightly off. When it came to riding half-pipes, he usually landed badly. Yet he managed to land this particular 360° heel flip without a wobble.
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I’ll be the first to admit he nailed it. Not that I would tell him that. Goat and I had been competing against one another since we were ten years old and first started rolling around on skateboards. But this game of S.K.A.T.E. meant more than any of the others had. S.K.A.T.E. is a simple game. The first skater does a trick of their choice. The second skater then has to do the trick too. If the second skater lands the first skater’s trick, the game moves forward and it becomes the second skater’s turn to choose the next trick. If either of the contestants cannot land a trick, they get a letter. The first one to spellskateloses. The question wasn’t whether I could land the 360° heel, but whether I could pull off the 720° melon I planned to do on the other side. Goat was able to keep up with me on most tricks, but he had consistently been unable to land a 720° melon. Normally I wouldn’t have cared, but today Jack Coagen was sitting beside me on the ramp. Jack is one of those big-name teen actors. If he stars in a movie, parents feel safe sending 2
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their rug rats off to the theater. He’s at my neighborhood half-pipe because he landed the lead role in a feature film that happened to have some skateboarding in it. His agent wanted him to learn some basic skateboarding skills, so after he saw a video of me on YouTube, he contacted me to see if I could train Jack. It’s hard to teach someone to skate-board. Hard enough that, at first, I was just going to say no. But Jack’s agent sweetened the deal. First I would train Jack to keep his balance on a board and maybe drop into a half-pipe. Then, once the movie started shooting, I would be his stunt double. There was no way I could say no to that.It was the kind of gig that could launchmy career. I have a handshake contract with Jack’s agent, which is, apparently, as good as gold. But I would have taken the job for next to nothing. I’m seventeen, and most of my friends are leaving for college in a few weeks. I’m not sure what I want to do with my life, so I’m taking a year off to think 3
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about it. A career in skateboarding would be awesome, and being a stunt double in a feature film would be an incredible start. But back to Goat. Apparently he’d been looking to challenge me to a S.K.A.T.E. competition since he had found out I was going to work with Jack. I guess he felt he had something to prove. Goat is a good skater, one of the best in the area, but he had never been picked up by a skate crew or offered a sponsorship. He had also never been a stunt double in a movie. “Come on, Head Case,” Goat yelled. My name is Casey Finnegan, though Goat has never once called me Casey. It’s always Head Case. “Or do you want to bow out now? I mean, that’s cool with me. I got plenty of stuff to do with my day.” There was a bit of a breeze coming in off the ocean, bringing the sea smell with it. It was just after three in the afternoon, and the sky was so blue, I could imagine it wrapping right around the Earth.
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“Hold on, Goat,” I said. I decided to forget about the 720° for the time being and do the 360° heel flip, then throw something down Goat might embarrass himself with. I dropped in and got as much speed on the down slope as possible. I pumped once across the bottom of the ramp and dug in to launch myself on the other side. I didn’t need much air to do the 360° heel flip, but I wanted to show Goat up a little, so I launched as high as I could. When you’re in the air, the board spin-ning beneath you, it is both awesome and terrifying. You feel as if anything is possible. You also fear you’re about to fall and break something. But that’s part of the thrill. Tricks happen in an instant, so there’s not much time to think about what you’re doing. In fact, thinking usually only gets you into trouble. I landed on the vertical part of the ramp, leaning far enough forward to get the speed I would need for my next trick.I was tightly coiled, ready to explode,
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when I hit the other side. As my front wheels came up to the coping, I pushed on my back foot, brought the board up, then launched. I grabbed the nose of my board, took my feet off and managed to get three full swipes in the air to perform an airwalk. After the airwalk, I put the board back under my feet and landed fakie on the vert. As I came up the other side, I did a fakie backside grab, before finally shooting up and hopping off onto the deck. There were some claps and hoots from the crowd. More people were hanging around today than normal. Word of Jack Coagen’s presence must have spread beyond the skate community. Goat stared at me from the other side of the ramp, his long dreads whipping around in the wind. A hush descended on the crowd, and I could hear a camera shutter clicking. Down beside the ramp a tall older guy was taking pictures with the longest camera lens I had ever seen. At first it seemed as if he was taking pictures of me. But then he leaned to one side, and I looked behind me to see 6